Thursday, May 3, 2012
Go dig a ditch... that's what boys do.
**Trigger Warning – homophobic violence** I wanted my last blog post to be a happy one, but I’m just too enraged and interested by this—I have to post about it. What I’m talking about it is the pastor in North Carolina, Sean Harris, who preached violence against LGBT youth in a sermon a few days ago. The gist of his words was that any gay or lesbian “tendencies” in children need to be dealt with swiftly and violently. He made horrific comments about wrist snapping and giving effeminate little boys “a good punch.” He was talking about children as young as four years old. His comments regarding potentially lesbian or butch little girls were less violent, but were also inflammatory—mainly they revolved around getting in little girls’ faces and insisting to them that they will dress up, they will make themselves attractive and feminine. Here is a pretty good link that has a good transcript for anyone who wants to read it: http://instinctmagazine.com/blogs/blog/pastor-preaches-hate-from-the-pulpit-permits-violence-towards-lgbt-kids?directory=100011 The video is widely available as well if you search his name. Repugnant gender essentialism aside, advocating child abuse is obviously the problem here. His church puts their sermons online, and many blogs and news outlets picked up on his words soon after the service. Many have reposted the entire video. I have not watched it, but have opted for transcripts for my own sanity. The stuff he says is really just horrific, really hateful. Since all of this got out—and to be clear, it was outside sources; his own congregation does not seem to find fault with his words—he’s claimed to be “joking,” as well as offering multiple non-apologies. He has also claimed to be quoted out of context, despite the entire sermon being reposted by many websites. His “apologies” say basically that he does not advocate child abuse or violence in any situation, and that LGBT folks do not deserve violence. Of course, he doesn’t condemn violence because it’s wrong, but because “The gospel is the only source of power sufficient to deliver anyone from the power, penalty, and presence of all forms of sin including, but not limited to, all forms of sexual immorality including homosexuality.” One of the blogs I checked out that was writing about it made an observation I found very salient. I’m sure many of you are aware of the incident with Dan Savage recently where some students walked out on him after he said some things I think were legitimately kind of rude about the Bible and about Christianity. Dan Savage made fun of the Bible, and several students walked out. Pastor Harris condoned child abuse, and not a single member (or parent!) in his congregation spoke out. I’m really disgusted, but on the bright side, I’m glad this is getting some real attention.